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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #05-0230 ([U.S. Department of Labor] [Mr. Michael P. Valoski])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: U.S. Department of Labor

Individual Name: Mr. Michael P. Valoski

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Nov 2, 2005


Mr. Michael P. Valoski                          Reference No. 05-0230
Chief, Toxic Agents Branch
Mine Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
P. 0. Box 18233
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Dear Mr. Valoski:

This is in response to your letter concerning the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 17 1-180) to government agencies transporting hazardous materials. Your letter states that the Mine Safety and Health Administration purchased a truck that will be used as a mobile laboratory by agency personnel responding to mine fires and/or explosions. The mobile laboratory will contain instruments that use various compressed gases in their analyses. Your questions pertain to quantity limitations and special precautions applicable to compressed gases, vehicle placarding requirements, training and licensing requirements for the vehicle driver, and weight limitations for the vehicle.

The statutory authority granted to the Department of Transportation under the Federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5101 et. seq.) is limited to transportation in commerce. Hazardous materials transported by a government entity in vehicles operated by government personnel for noncommercial purposes are not subject to the HMR. Thus, the quantity limitations and placarding requirement do not apply. Cylinders that are used at a work site and not offered for transportation in commerce come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You should contact OSHA for information concerning such cylinders.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency responsible for compliance with regulations governing qualifications for commercial drivers as well as vehicle weight limitations. Please contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at (202) 366-6121 for information on these issues.

I hope this satisfies your request.



Hattie L. Mitchell
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval